- What Breast Lift Corrects
- Breast Lift Candidates
- Breast Lift Incisions
- The Breast Lift Procedure
The board-certified plastic surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Group are proud to offer women in New York City and New Jersey breast lift cosmetic surgery. Simply put, mastopexy, or breast lift surgery, is designed to raise the breasts to a higher, more youthful position on the chest wall.
Aesthetic Concerns Addressed With Breast Lift
Over time, pregnancy, nursing, massive weight loss, certain hereditary traits or the natural aging process can negatively affect the look and contour of the breasts. For instance, pregnancy and major weight loss can cause the breast skin to lose its elastic quality, so it starts to droop. Breastfeeding can also cause changes in the appearance of the breasts and nipple location: Some women report a loss of breast volume after breastfeeding, leaving them with deflated-looking breasts, while others are frustrated that their nipples have started to migrate down the breast and point southward instead of straight ahead. To address this, we offer nipple surgery.
Thankfully, undergoing surgical breast lift in New Jersey with the Plastic Surgery Group can address these aesthetic concerns. With breast lift surgery, the plastic surgeon eliminates loose breast skin that has stretched out and can no longer shrink back to a smaller size and shape while moving the breasts to a higher, more aesthetically pleasing position on the chest wall. The surgeon can also move southward-pointing nipples to a higher, more central location on the breast, so they again face forward.
Note: Sometimes, breast lift alone is not sufficient to restore breast volume that has been lost due to nursing, weight loss or the aging process. In this case, the plastic surgeon may recommend breast augmentation using breast implants or the patient’s own fat taken from another area of the body.
Appropriate Breast Lift Candidates
It is best for prospective breast lift patients to come in for a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to determine whether they are appropriate breast lift candidates.
In general, however, suitable breast lift candidates include those who:
- Seek to correct the look of sagging breasts and / or southward-pointing nipples
- Are in good general health, both mentally and physically
- Are not smokers or are able to abstain from smoking for a few weeks prior to and following surgery
- Are not currently pregnant or nursing, and have not been nursing for a minimum of six months (This allows the plastic surgeon to determine patients’ natural breast shape.)
- Have made the decision to undergo breast lift surgery of their own accord
- Have reasonable expectations for the outcome of mastopexy, and are seeking cosmetic improvement, not perfection
- Have weighed the potential surgical risks against the benefits of breast lift and feel the latter outweigh the former
Breast Lift Incision Approaches
There are three main incision patterns used for breast lift surgery: periareolar, vertical and inframammary. The plastic surgeon discusses these options during consultation and helps the patient decide which is best for her, based on her unique anatomy and aesthetic objectives.
With the periareolar incision, the plastic surgeon removes a “donut-shaped” region of skin next to the areola (the darkly pigmented skin surrounding the nipple). This incision approach is best for patients who only need a small amount of skin removal and nipple elevation.
The vertical incision pattern involves using both the periareolar incision as well as a vertical incision that extends down the front of the breast, starting at the bottom border of the areola and ending just above the natural breast fold. This pattern is best for patients who need a greater degree of skin removal. It also allows the surgeon to tighten the supporting breast tissue and raise the nipple to a higher position on the breast.
For women with a substantial amount of surplus skin, especially in the lower breast quadrant, the plastic surgeon uses an inframammary incision in addition to the periareolar and vertical incisions. This involves making an incision that runs left to right underneath the natural breast crease. Using the inframammary incision pattern allows the breast surgeon to optimize the final shape of the breast, in addition to removing a significant amount of skin from the breast area.
The Breast Lift Procedure
Breast lift surgery at Plastic Surgery Group is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, under general anesthesia. To start the breast lift procedure, the New Jersey plastic surgeon makes the chosen incision on the breast. He or she removes any surplus skin from the breast area before tightening the supporting tissue structures. The plastic surgeon may also re-mold the existing breast mound while moving it to a higher, more aesthetically pleasing location on the chest wall. If the patient’s areola is excessively large, the surgeon can excise some of the skin from the outer border of the areola, reducing its overall size. The breast surgeon also adjusts the position of the nipple, moving it to a higher, more central position on the breast. The surgeon keeps the nipple attached to the underlying tissue to help maintain nipple sensation. Finally, the plastic surgeon closes the incision with dissolvable stitches before dressing the breasts with fluffy bandages and a surgical bra on top.
Recovering From Mastoplexy Surgery
Once the surgery is complete, patients are moved to a room where they can recover while the effects of the anesthesia subside. Once the medical staff has given the okay, the patient is released into the care of a responsible adult, so she can recuperate in the comfort of her own home.
Breast lift patients will need to take about one week off from work or their everyday activities. They should rest as much as possible and avoid vigorous activity during this time. This includes avoiding heavy lifting. However, patients should also take periodic walks around the house as soon as they are able, to encourage sound blood circulation and minimize the chance of developing blood clots in the lower extremities.
The breasts may initially feel sore, tender or numb, but patients are prescribed pain medication before surgery that they may take during the initial recovery period, if needed. The breasts may also be swollen or bruised, but these symptoms are normal and should improve over time.
Postoperative breast lift patients will return to the Plastic Surgery Group office for their follow-up appointments. During the follow-up appointments, the surgeon will monitor the patients’ progress and let them know when they can resume their usual activities, including their exercise routine.
To schedule a personal consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to learn more about breast lift cosmetic surgery, please contact the Plastic Surgery Group by calling (973) 233-1933 for our Montclair, N.J. and Livingston, N.J. offices or 212-321-0406 for our New York City facility.